Asset Protection Planning
Asset Protection Attorney Serving Queens and the New York Area
Did you know that in the United States more lawsuits are filed annually than in the rest of the world combined? Many of these lawsuits seem frivolous, but the truth is you never know what a jury or judge will decide. Meanwhile, approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce and there are a staggering number of bankruptcies filed each year. No wonder asset protection planning is such a rapidly growing area of the law. It is essential for your estate plan to include a strong asset protection component. At The Estate Planning and Elder Law Group, we use a combination of proven tools and strategies to protect our clients’ assets.
Exempting Assets in New York
State and federal laws exempt some assets from creditor claims. While there are states that permit residents to choose between state and federal exemptions, New York requires you to utilize the state’s exemptions. After identifying the asset classes exempted under state law, you may want to maximize your level of protection by converting non-exempt assets into exempt assets whenever possible.
Asset Protection for Business Owners and Professionals
Certain professionals, such as attorneys, physicians, and financial advisors are highly vulnerable to lawsuits. So, too, are business owners. Many professionals and business owners operate as sole proprietors, in part because this approach is relatively simple. However, structuring one’s business through entities such as corporations or limited liability companies provides significantly stronger asset protection. Why? When a lawsuit is brought against a sole proprietorship, it is in effect a lawsuit against the sole proprietor’s personal assets. Conversely, a lawsuit brought against a legal entity like a corporation limits risk to personal assets.
The Use of Insurance to Transfer Risk
The right type and amount of insurance can be an effective asset protection tool. It is important to note, however, that many business owners and professionals buy insurance and then do not review it often enough. Your policy must be updated to keep pace with changes in your business and your personal situation.
Don’t put your hard-earned assets at risk from lawsuits, creditors, divorce, predators, and other threats. Contact us today to learn how we can protect your personal and business assets for your enjoyment today and that of your loved ones after you are gone.